I know my last post on the Occupy Montreal Protest was quite harsh and some of you let me know that you agreed and some of you let me know how much you disagreed with my opinions and I thank you for taking the time to first read my writing and secondly for responding by way of comments. The comments made me decide to go down to the Occupation site one last time on the day of the final eviction and I am glad that I did, because it was truly an eye-opening experience.
Up to that day the Mayor and the police showed little interest in the protest. Up until a few days before the Mayor was content to let the protesters stay there all winter as long as they did not cause any trouble. First came city inspectors and when they could find nothing serious to shut the protest down they sent in the fire department who of course found them in violation of fire codes. This along with complaints from the protesters themselves that they were having a rough time with passing homeless people gave the city all the excuse they needed to close this protest and occupation down by issuing eviction notices.
The police presence went from none, because they had nothing to fear from the non violent protest, to hundreds of police surrounding the whole site in just one day. What fear did the Mayor see that such a police presence was deemed necessary? What had turned the up to now trusting relationship sour? The police had blocked off streets almost to Peel Street, but I still do not understand what prompted so strong a police show of force.
Another thing that struck me as odd, was the mood of the workers helping to return the park to its normal state, by throwing all of the furniture and belongings of those who simply had left them behind, or of those people who had no way to move them in time into large dump trucks and garbage trucks. These workers seemed to be enjoying their work, not a grim-faced to be found. They seemed to be happy to be to be doing there part in the destruction of the protest. They seemed to enjoy taking peoples belongings and throwing them into garbage trucks. It seemed like they were doing more than just a job, they looked like they were having fun. Maybe they were just doing what they talked about over dinner wishing that the protest was not there? I thought though that they looked like bullies in the school yard knocking down the little kids cardboard play house, or collapsing the snow fort worked on all day by the little ones.
I certainly did voice my problems with the Montreal protest, but I never believed that they did not have the right to protest. This in my opinion is another way that governments make a mockery out of democracy. You may protest and voice your fears and concerns about the way we are handling your country and how it affects your life until we say enough is enough. You have the right to protest just not on city property which is public property. You have a right to protest, but you may not inconvenience anyone. Democracy can not be at the governments convenience, it must stand the same for all always if it is to be effective and just, but this is no longer the case in any province, or in any city in all of Canada as evidenced by the closures all over the country wherever an Occupy Protest was being held.
I am afraid that I must draw the conclusion that every facet of the Canadian government is a fraud and is hypocritical by nature. I asked a question once in a post I wrote some time back asking if there was one political party who would stand for the less fortunate of this country? I asked, if there was one politician who would stand for honesty, justice and for what was right in all of Canada? Watching how the protesters of the Occupy protests were dealt with over the last couple of months I think that I got my answer and that is, that there is not one.
A crowd of people stood watching in silence not really showing any emotion and I thought to myself how sad. I wondered were there any post office workers among them, or maybe some Air Canada employees in the crowd? Striking is just another form of protesting people and if you stood there thinking how right the government was in shutting this protest down, remember that it is with the same reasoning and lack of respect for democracy that the government shut down your strike, your protest as well. Once the government is allowed to mess with the fundamentals of democracy and twist it to their needs none of us is safe from their tyranny. If government can start making exceptions to what parts of democracy will be allowed to exist then we as people have lost as far as having any say in what is going on in our lives. Democracy is not a piece meal thing, it is an all or nothing thing.
The press like the vultures they are were out in full force waiting for the carnage, the blood the clash, the story, but it was not to be. The protesters basically left without protest and the clean up crew moved in under the protection of the police and had some fun. I did like one sign that I read as I walked around the perimeter, of the once barrier free Occupation Montreal Protest site to the now armed taped off police action site, that said simply that,” You Can’t Evict An Idea Whose Time has come”. The press should be ashamed of itself, for only covering, blood, violence and brutality. The press has once again let the people down in Montreal. Why is it only news worthy when someone gets hurt or dies? Where has the heart, the social conscience of reporters gone? If I was a journalist in Montreal, or across Canada for that matter I would be hanging my head in shame for the lack of coverage of any protest that did not have blood and gore attached to it.
Finally understand this, every time we let the government choose what part of democracy it will use, or when to use it and how to best use it to meet their own ends we give up our right to live in a truly democratic way. These politicians who think that they are, kings, dictators , or Gods are supposed to be working for us, doing what we want as a majority, but over time they have taken the power that we used to have for themselves and seek to rewrite democratic rule leaving out all choice of the people except for who will rule over you. If we do not try we will lose for sure. If you will not fight for yourself will you not fight for your children?
- Brianna Lee: Occupy Movement at a Crossroads as Evictions Spread (stevebeckow.com)
- City orders Occupy Montreal protesters to dismantle camp (canada.com)
- US Department of Homeland Security gives advice on dealing with Occupy protests? (100gf.wordpress.com)
- Occupy protesters greet Harper in Vancouver (cbc.ca)
- Montreal mayor tells Occupy protesters to leave (cbc.ca)